IJCRR - 5(7), April, 2013
Date of Publication: 18-Apr-2013
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ASSESSMENT OF TYPES OF LEARNING MODES IN MEDICAL STUDENTS
Author: Varun Malhotra, Rinku Garg, Yogesh Tripathi, Usha Dhar, Sanjay, Monish, Ranjana, Abhishek, Pronoy
Abstract:Swadhyaya or deep study, includes Sravana (study) or reading/hearing a concept in physiology, Manana (with attention) pondering over the concept read or heard, Nidididhyasna or forming a definte concept (3). Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic questionnaire was circulated among 75 medical students. Based on the response, they were categorized into visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. Percentage incidence and number of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners was calculated. This study enabled teachers to modify their methodology of lecture-delivery pictures (power-point), audio CDs and demonstrations.
A learning style is a student's consistent way of responding to and using stimuli in the context of learning. Keefe (1979)6 defines learning styles as the “composite of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment.” Learning styles may also be defined as those “educational conditions under which a student is most likely to learn.” (10). Learning styles are not really concerned with what learners learn, but rather how they prefer to learn. The purpose to identify the learning styles in teaching is a) to design learning activities that students will find interesting b) to ensure that learning is meaningful for every student c) to overcome potential barriers and problems to learning d) to improve 1:1 student-teacher communication d) to demonstrate differences to observers and inspectors.(2) HISTORY The VAK approach (Visual Auditory Kinesthetic) to teaching and learning arose out of the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the early 1980s. As doctors used MRI scanning to treat brain-injured patients, they accumulated a mass of data about how the brain processes information. Researchers took the results and aaded them to developing theories in psychology to produce brain-related approaches to learning (2). It is important to think of learning styles as an opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue with your students (2) The Felder Silverman model of learning styles uses an online instrument called the Ïndex of Learning styles and measures students across four dimensions: active/ reflective/sensory/intuitive/visual/verbal/global (2)
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Seventy five students of first year MBBS 2012- 13 batch of Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad were given a questionnaire (Appendix 1). Based on their responses, they were categorized as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic Learners (Table 1). a choice implied visual, b choice auditory and c were Kinesthetic of the questionnaire.
35 students (46.67 %) are visual learners, 27 (36.1%) are auditory learner and 20 students are kinesthetic learners. Predominant students are visual learners. Many students did not have one learning style. Many responses were multiple, implying that students had a flexible repertoire from which to choose, depending on the content of learning.
Other studies data that men have a greater tendency to prefer reading, learning and kinesthetic learning over visual and auditory learning, whereas female tend to have roughly equal preferences for all three modalities. (4) Visual learners (65% of population), respond best when the teacher uses graphs, charts, illustrations or other visual aids, leaves white space in hand outs for note taking, uses gapped handouts for checking retention of knowledge, uses reading materials for in-class and out of class activities, invites questions to help them stay alert in auditory environments, uses flip charts to show what will come and what has been presented, emphasizes key points to cue when to take notes and uses visualization, diagram-labeling and picture drawing activities (5-11) Auditory learners (30% of population), respond best when the teacher, begins new material with a brief explanation of what is coming, concludes with a summary of what has been covered, questions learners to draw as much information from them as possible and then fill in the gaps with expertise, include auditory activities, such as brain storming, buzz groups or jeopardy, leaves plenty of time to debrief activities, this allows learners to make connections of what they learned and how it applies to their situation, uses rhymes, songs, background music or advertising jingles to reinforce main points. (5-11) Kinaesthetic learners (5% of population), respond best when the teacher uses hands on, practical activities that get the learners up and moving, uses conversion exercises that translate text into diagrams, scripts, concept maps, pictures, gives frequent stretch-breaks (brainbreaks), uses props and other items which can be handled and investigated, provides sweets or scents which provides a crosslink of scent (aroma) to the topic at hand (scent can be a powerful recall cue), uses colored matches to emphasize key points on flip charts or wipe boards. (5-11) In our study the students were majority of visual learners, promoting a learning-teaching approach of charts, illustrations and power point. However to let the child learn and nurture his qualities, it is best to use a combination of the three approaches above.
Despite the recent criticisms many educationalists agree that students learn best in the classroom when they are fully aware of their strengths and weakness as learners. It is best to avoid labeling students. Students may prefer one learning style but they respond best to a mix of different activities. So it is best to use a combination of learning styles, as mentioned above, to ensure all student needs are met. (2)
Authors acknowledge the great help received from the scholars whose articles cited and included in references of this manuscript. The authors are also grateful to authors / editors / publishers of all those articles, journals and books from where the literature for this article has been reviewed and discussed. Authors are grateful to IJCRR editorial board members and IJCRR team of reviewers who have helped to bring quality to this manuscript.
1. Learning styles. Why do they matter? Neil D. Fleming, Charles C Bonwell. Lake Washington of Technology. TRiO Student Support Services Projects www.lwtech.edu/trio
2. The FE Toolkit: A Magazine for Grade 1 Teachers: Learning Styles www.newbubbles.com p1-18.
3. Swami Sri Sri Yukteshvarji. The Prophet and His Mission: A Tribute on his 150th Birth Anniversary. How Bhakati Yoga is Attained as per “The Holy Science” 2005, p 18, 19.
4. Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., and Ecclestone, K. (2004). Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: A systematic and critical review. www.LSRC.ac.uk: Learning and Skills Research Centre. Retrieved January 15, 2008: http://www.lsda.org.uk/files/PDF/1543 .pdf
5. Constantinidou, F. and Baker, S. (2002). Stimulus modality and verbal learning performance in normal aging. Brain and Language, 82(3), 296-311.
6. Keefe, J. W. (1979) Learning style: An overview. NASSP's Student learning styles: Diagnosing and proscribing programs (pp. 1- 17). Reston, VA. National Association of Secondary School Principles.
7. Marzano, R. J. (1998). A theory-based metaanalysis of research on instruction. Midcontinent Regional Educational Laboratory, Aurora, CO.
8. Merrill, D. (2000). Instructional Strategies and Learning Styles: Which takes Precedence? Trends and Issues in Instructional Technology, R. Reiser and J. Dempsey (Eds.). Prentice Hall.
9. Hayman-Abello S.E. and Warriner E. M. (2002). Child clinical/pediatric neuropsychology: some recent advances. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 309–339.
10. Stewart, K. L., and Felicetti, L. A. (1992). Learning styles of marketing majors. Educational Research Quarterly, 15(2), 15-23. 11. Thompson-Schill, S., Kraemer, D., Rosenberg, L. (2009). Visual Learners Convert Words To Pictures In The Brain And Vice Versa, Says Psychology Study. University of Pennsylvania. News article retrieved July 10, 2011, from http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/ visual-learners-convert-words-pictures-brainand-vice-versa-says-penn-psychology-study
Appendix 1: Study Skills - Student Development and Counselling
VAK Learning Styles Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Circle or tick the answer that most represents how you generally behave.
(It?s best to complete the questionnaire before reading the accompanying explanation.)
1. When I operate new equipment I generally:
a).Read the instructions first.
b).Listen to an explanation from someone who has used it before.
c).Go ahead and have a go, I can figure it out as I use it.
2. When I need directions for travelling I usually:
a).Look at a map.
b).Ask for spoken directions.
c). Allow my nose and maybe use a compass.
3. When I cook a new dish, I like to:
a).Follow a written recipe.
b). Call a friend for an explanation. c).Follow my instincts, testing as I cook.
4. If I am teaching someone something new, I tend to:
a).Write instructions down for them.
b).Give them a verbal explanation.
c).Demonstrate first and then let them have a go.
5. I tend to say:
a).Watch how I do it.
b).Listen to me explain. c).You have a go.
6. During my free time I most enjoy: a).Going to museums and galleries.